SLC Update 17 May 2020

Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while, let’s see how rusty I am!

It’s time for a long overdue blog post.

I can only apologize for my year of silence. Rather than creating a complete locomotive and then adding the variations and liveries, the way I tend to work is to create all the variations simultaneously; that way I can check that everything fits together correctly. The downside is that I don’t have any complete in game screenshots to show until shortly before the model is complete.

The ‘H’ class has been a bit of a rollercoaster to create. I’ve mentioned previously that some of the variations and changes which will be included with the add-on have never, as far as my research has been able to ascertain, been identified. The Search Engine archives at the National Railway Museum have been very helpful in ensuring that items like the pipes for the Westinghouse brakes, vacuum brakes and steam heat system, are in the correct places.

However, while examining some original drawings last year for the Lord Nelson add-on, I took the opportunity to look at the drawings of the cab, tank and bunkers for the ‘H’ class. The result of this was that I realised my model did not match the stated dimensions. In some places the difference was less than 1/4 in but in others was close to or over 1 in. At first glance that might not seem a huge amount, but the dimensions of the cab affect the position and dimensions of other components which in turn impact other parts, and soon what started as a 1 in difference has increased to 2 maybe 3 inches. Therefore, I took the decision to rebuild as many components as was necessary to reduce the dimensional differences, which in the end, resulted in around 75% of the model being rebuild or modified. But the results were, I think, worth it.

The SE&CR austerity grey livery, has quickly become one of my favourites, there’s something purposeful and workman like in it’s appearance.

I can’t give an exact date of completion for the add-on as there’s a number of new techniques that I’m testing in addition to the normal development cycle.

However, work has not been solely focused on the ‘H’ class. As I mentioned previously, research on the Lord Nelson class has included viewing original works drawings. Cataloguing the variations for any locomotive add-on is a time consuming task, but with the Lord Nelson’s it’s made even harder because of the more than 200 photographs I have to go through, many of which don’t have the date or year the picture was taken. But in the meantime, I decided to make a start on building what components I could with the aid of the original works drawings I viewed at the NRM. The first major component to be nearing completion is the cab for No. 850 when it was brand new in August 1926.

While this blog post isn’t a “The H class is now available”, I hope it’s given an insight into why things take longer than I want them to. I’m continually learning new things as a developer, where would the fun be if we didn’t keep learning.

One aspect of Train Simulator that I’ve been dabbling with recently is scenario creation. You may have noticed that there is a new section on the SLC website for scenarios. Here I’ll be uploading occasional scenarios that I’ve created and hopefully you’ll enjoy playing.

Until next time

James (SLC)

SLC Update 13 March 2019

Hi everyone, another month, time for another blog post.

Work on the ‘H’ class continues and the end is most definitely in sight. It’s amazing how adding the little details to a model takes so much time in comparison to completing the large objects like boiler, smokebox etc. But it’s worth the effort in my opinion as those little details add so much character to a locomotive.

Because things like pipes often pass through the floor or cab sides, these big objects can’t be put into the game until the smaller items are finished and I’m happy with their positions. So while I still don’t have any renders of the locomotive in game to show, I thought you might enjoy a couple of renders of some of the more unusual items I’ve had to build for this add-on.

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This might look a lot like a Westinghouse air pump, but is in fact the heart of the Ashford steam reverser. The various rods you can see are all essential in the operation of the steam reverser and as such will all move in the game.

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The second item I wanted to show is the Ashford Works builders plate that was attached to the front splashers of the ‘H’ class, though some locomotives had their’s removed in later life. As you can see the lettering is all 3D and this will be the standard for things like the brass cabside numbers and BR numberplates.

I mentioned in the last blog post that some of the variations that will be included with the add-on, are ones that have never been revealed before. While I’m not going to say what those are just yet, I can say that the add-on will feature over 40 detail changes, some big, some small, that will be adjustable either through the dynamic numbering or will have separate locomotive models.

In terms of liveries, I planning on including 10, with some changes like logos being controlled by the dynamic numbering.

The manual will be a bit different from normal, as I’m going to be splitting it into two documents. One will be focused on using the add-on, while the other will focus on the history of the class and the various changes made over the years. This will hopefully make it easier to find information, rather than having to wade through a 40 page manual just to find a particular keyboard shortcut for example.

Another first for this model will be in the included stock, again I’m not going to reveal what it is at the moment, but to say I’m excited is an understatement.

In summary the ‘H’ will be a big leap forward for SLC in so many aspects and hopefully will be worth the wait.

See you next time.

James (SLC)

 

SLC Update – 1 February 2019

Hi everybody. I thought it was about time I wrote another blog post, so here we go.

Work on the ‘H’ class continues apace. January has been a busy month with a lot accomplished. Unfortunately though, I don’t have any in game screenshots to show in this blog post.

One reason I’m so excited to be bringing you the ‘H’ class is because of the little gems of new information that I’ve been able to uncover. There is precious little published, detailed, information on the history of the class besides D. L. Bradley’s The Locomotive History of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway from 1980. However, looking at photographs of the class during their working life has revealed several variations which have, as far as I have been able to ascertain, have never before been revealed in books or magazine articles.

It’s much the same story with the ‘Lord Nelson’. Research, which has included visiting the National Railway Museum to view original works drawings, has turned up a number of new variations/changes which haven’t been mentioned before.

Hopefully I’ll have some screenshots to show in the next blog post so keep checking the website.

Till next time

James (SLC)